Tag Archives: GEO


Video Tip of the Week: Digital Expression Explorer for RNA-seq

DEE_posterComing over my digital transom in a couple of different ways recently, the Digital Expression Explorer caught my attention. I have a soft spot for expression. It’s the business end of what’s going on, not just the archives of genomic info stored up in the nucleus, you know? Heh.

Anyway–I saw the poster via email from ResearchGate (yeah, I know, but a couple of interesting things have come to me from there). It was authored by someone that I’ve been on a paper with, so it notified me. And the volume of expression data and challenges for users definitely hits on a problem that I think about a lot. There’s such great detail underneath the surface in so many of these repositories we have, but few people have the tools to mine them. They specifically note the GEO and SRA in this case. Digital Expression Explorer (DEE) sits on top of them and provides a new way in, after standardizing the data. I think that’s worthwhile.

There’s no need for me to provide a more details here–the lead author Mark Ziemann has done a great job in this blog post: Introducing “Digital Expression Explorer”. He provides the background to the problem of re-using the data, and what they’ve done to solve it. And you can see the poster online. But better still, check out this quick intro video from Mark that is this week’s Video Tip of the Week:

So you can see how to pull out some data and begin to explore it with DEE. Then there’s a piece that illustrates taking this newly mined set and evaluating it with Degust. This quickly shows what you can get and what you can do next. It will give you an idea of the benefits (and the speed).

And, may I say, nice job on outreach! Poster, tweets, blog, and video. Many ways to reach potential users. Moar like this, plz, for all you folks with software tools.

Try it out, and see if it saves you time and delivers you more than you might have been able to mine out of the repositories so quickly in the past.

Quick link:

Digital Expression Explorer: http://dee.bakeridi.edu.au/


Ziemann M., Kaspi A., Lazarus R., & El-Osta A. (2015). Digital Expression Explorer: A user-friendly repository of uniformly processed RNA-seq data. ComBio2015 : 10.13140/RG.2.1.1707.5926

Tip of the Week: BioGPS for expression data and more

This week’s tip introduces BioGPS, or Gene Portal System. We get a lot of questions about two things that BioGPS can help you to tackle: what do I do with a list of genes to find out what they are? And the next question people have after that is: and where are they expressed? BioGPS can help you with both of those problems. It is a tool that integrates and displays many types of data that researchers would be interested in. It also allows you to customize your display with the types of data that are most relevant to you–using their extensive plug-in collection. And it can do so from your browser, or access the basic portal from your iPhone!

Recently there was a question at BioStar about ways to quickly access some human gene expression data. The top rated answer over there was BioGPS, so we thought we’d provide a look at the kinds of things available to users via BioGPS. This 5-minute movie introduces some of the features.

Basically you can search for a gene or a list of genes, you can search with various types of IDs, you can search by keyword, or you can even search by genomic intervals. Your resulting list will quickly link you to all kinds of information from expression data, to annotation details and wikis, and more.  The results are provided in a handy default view with panels of information which may offer what you are looking for.

But you can go further with BioGPS using their customization and plug-in features. You aren’t tied to the default view. The system offers plug-ins: other tools can pipe their information over to BioGPS so you can use it within that framework. You can  register/create a login and then store views that are suited to your research needs.

At the time they wrote the paper provided below, they already had over 150 plug-ins available. As I write this today there are nearly 400 things you could bring in to supplement the views of the genes you are interested in. And the range of plug-ins is tremendous: interaction data sets, SNPs, phylogenetic data… The Figure 2 in their paper gives a partial list of the plug-ins at that time, and the categories they highlight include: literature searching (such as PubMed, iHop, patents, more), gene portals (such as Entrez Gene, UniProt, Gene Cards, more), genetics (dbSNP, HapMap, HuGE, more), pathway tools (KEGG, Reactome, STRING, more) and even reagent providers. But there are more now, and it looks like more will continue to be developed and added. It really depends on what you need and want to display for your searches. You can browse around or search the plug-in collection to explore what’s available to view.

There are other tools you can use to explore expression data specifically. We like the UCSC Gene Sorter for some types of queries. Of course the large repositories of GEO and ArrayExpress can offer expression data as well. But for some users the BioGPS portal may offer integration and customization features that will suit their research needs. Go over and check it out. Register, set up some views, and you’ll be finding all sorts of useful annotations for your genes or regions of interest.

Just to also quickly mention: you can do searches from your lab bench, or from seminars, with the iPhone version of BioGPS as well. I didn’t have time to cover that in the movie but there’s more information over at their site about the tool. I’ve got mine installed and I’ve found it handy during talks!

Quick links:

BioGPS homepage: http://biogps.gnf.org/ EDIT: has moved: http://biogps.org/

BioGPS iPhone app: http://biogps.gnf.org/iphone/

Wu, C., Orozco, C., Boyer, J., Leglise, M., Goodale, J., Batalov, S., Hodge, C., Haase, J., Janes, J., Huss, J., & Su, A. (2009). BioGPS: an extensible and customizable portal for querying and organizing gene annotation resources Genome Biology, 10 (11) DOI: 10.1186/gb-2009-10-11-r130

Updated Online Tutorials for NCBI resources including an NCBI Overview and PubMed and the Gene Expression Omnibus tutorials

Comprehensive tutorials on the publicly available NCBI resources enable researchers to quickly and effectively use these invaluable resources.

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) June 8, 2010 – OpenHelix today announced the availability of three updated tutorials on NCBI resources.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information, NCBI, is home to many of the most commonly used publicly available databases and tools in molecular biology today. They house such popular and widely used databases as GenBank, PubMed, GEO, Entrez Gene, Entrez Protein, and more. NCBI also produces, maintains and updates a variety of tools, like the large family of BLAST sequence similarity searching tools and the Entrez search and retrieval tools. In addition, they provide an extensive variety of services for education, news dissemination and different types of data submission. This tutorial presents a broad overview of NCBI’s databases, tools, educational resources and data submission protocols. In addition to an update on this overview, OpenHelix has updated both it’s PubMed and GEO tutorials. PubMed is the premiere search engine for biomedical literature. More than 18 million citations from life science journals can be searched through this free service. The Gene Expression Omnibus, or GEO, is a valuable resource designed to store high-throughput gene expression and molecular abundance data. These three tutorials, in conjunction with the many other OpenHelix up-to-date tutorials on NCBI resources such as BLAST, Entrez, dbSNP, MMDB, Viral resoruces, MapViewer and others will give you a set of training resources to help be efficient and effective at accessing and analyzing genome data.

The tutorial suites, available through an annual OpenHelix subscription, contain an online, narrated, multimedia tutorial, which runs in just about any browser connected to the web, along with slides with full script, handouts and exercises. With the tutorials, researchers can quickly learn to effectively and efficiently use these resources. The scripts, handouts and other materials can also be used as a reference or for training others.

These tutorials will teach users:

NCBI Overview

*to understand the basic structure of NCBI and its different types of resources
*to navigate NCBI to find the databases and analysis tools you need
*what types of educational resources are available at NCBI
*basic data submission procedures and background information
*how to search the entire NCBI site, as well as just the subset of Entrez databases


*basic, advanced, and Boolean search methods
*additional searching methods like the Entrez Global query and the MeSH query
*tips to understand the visual cues and displays
*to use My NCBI to customize your results and save searches which can be run and emailed regularly

Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO)

*efficient ways to query GEO for specific genes or experimental designs
*how to navigate through GEO output displays to find the specific information you want
*how to navigate GEO’s complex data architecture to search GEO by specific record types

To find out more about these and over 85 other tutorial suites visit the OpenHelix Catalog and OpenHelix. Or visit the OpenHelix Blog for up-to-date information on genomics and genomics resources.

About OpenHelix
OpenHelix, LLC, (www.openhelix.com) provides a bioinformatics and genomics search and training portal, giving researchers one place to find and learn how to use resources and databases on the web. The OpenHelix Search portal searches hundreds of resources, tutorial suites and other material to direct researchers to the most relevant resources and OpenHelix training materials for their needs. Researchers and institutions can save time, budget and staff resources by leveraging a subscription to nearly 100 online tutorial suites available through the portal. More efficient use of the most relevant resources means quicker and more effective research.

Friday SNPpets

Welcome to our Friday feature link dump: SNPpets. During the week we come across a lot of links and reads that we think are interesting, but don’t make it to a blog post. Here they are for your enjoyment…

Tip of the Week: Data Downloading from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO)

geo_thumbThere are times when being able to download the data used to create a publication is very useful. Perhaps you want to compare interesting data to some of your own. Or you may want to analyze the data differently than the original author to try and gain additional information. Or perhaps you’d just like to check out the data yourself that the author’s conclusions are valid. For my “tip of the week,” I thought I’d give you a tip for downloading some of that data from NCBI’s GEO (or Gene Expression Omnibus) database. We’ve got a whole introductory tutorial on how to use GEO, but this ~3 minute screencast will show you how to easily get GEO information into an Excel spreadsheet. Hope you find this tip as useful as I did when I learned it!